Do you feel nervous about going to the gym? These tips can help
21% of Britons worry about not being able to keep up with their fellow human beings when exercising (Image: Getty)
If the thought of going to the gym feels uncomfortable, you are not the only one.
Although Instagram makes you believe that you are in the minority, new studies have shown that many of us don’t have faith in the gym.
The Gym Group has found that two out of five of us have never been to the gym and one in five feels too “clumsy” or too embarrassed for personal fitness walking.
Generation Z in particular is feeling this, with the statistics in this age group rising to three out of five, while one in five pays for a membership that they don’t use for fear of walking.
A study by PureGym found that more than a third of gym goers have considered quitting for similar reasons.
Since the restrictions were lifted earlier this summer, interest in gym membership has increased, with Google searches for “gym memberships” increasing 56% since Freedom Day.
But a lack of confidence stands in the way of new members getting the most out of their gyms.
60% of people surveyed by PureGym didn’t feel well informed about fitness equipment, 54% worried about how they look, and 56% compare their fitness level with others because they think they don’t go together.
Working with a group of participants, they monitored the heart rates of people struggling with intimidation at the thought of the gym.
It was found that stress levels only increased when entering the gym alone, and were lower when socializing.
When you went to the gym with an exercise plan and instructions on how to use the equipment, heart rate peaks decreased by 20%.
According to The Gym Group, these are the most common moments when people get honored in the gym
- The moment you feel like people are looking at you (27%)
- Doing an exercise incorrectly (24%)
- Entering a gym for the first time and feeling lost (23%)
- Accident or fall (21%)
- Not being able to keep up with those around you (21%)
Personal trainer Kat Crisp says there are simple things you can do to improve the fitness experience whether you’re new or returning from a break.
Tour the gym before you start
Don’t underestimate how much the feeling of “being lost” affects how you approach the gym.
Kat says: ‘Whether you’re new or confident about your workout but have switched your gym, not knowing where to find the kit can be intimidating as each gym is built differently and uses different equipment.
‘A tour of the gym before you start, either through a briefing or just walking around, can help relieve the nerves.‘
Wear the right clothes
The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and can move freely.
‘Social media can lead us to believe that everyone only trains in a sports bra and the tightest, shortest shorts‘says Kat.
‘If you feel uncomfortable the idea of putting on this type of gear, you are not alone.
‘You don’t have to wear a specific brand of clothing to fit the gym; If you feel confident wearing something baggy, wear this. ‘
Don’t worry about sweating
If you’re struggling with your looks while exercising, keep in mind that you’ll work up a sweat – not looking Insta-ready.
‘Sweat stains and red faces are a part of the gym, “notes Kat.” Few people look good in the gym, so you don’t have to apologize if they sweat or blush. It’s just your body’s response that helps you keep workingthe end.
‘If you are concerned, bring a towel so you can wipe yourself and the kit clean if necessary. ‘
The usually quieter times to hit the gym, according to PureGym
If you’re exercising during quieter times to build your confidence, this is the information on when to go and when to avoid it.
- Busiest day to go to the gym: Monday
- Quietest days to visit the gym: Weekends (especially Sundays)
- Busiest times to visit the gym: 5:00 PM-7:00PM
- The quietest hours to go to the gym: 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- The quietest day of the year to go to the gym (outside of Christmas): the last Sunday of August before the bank holiday Monday
Go with a goal
Knowing the “why” can be motivation enough to overcome any fear.
Kat says: ‘Think about why you are leaving. That should be more than I want to lose weight or get a little fitter or build muscle.
‘Be specific. Knowing why you hit the gym in the first place can help you hit the gym and stick with it.
‘Motivation comes and goes, so it’s important to have a crystal clear reason to stay up to date and overcome your first nerves.‘
Avoid peak hours
Going during quieter times is one of the easiest ways people can improve their confidence in the gym – almost two-thirds have confirmed it.
‘Every gym has peak and quieter times: going outside of these hours when the gym is quieter can feel less intimidating.
‘PTs and gym managers can tell you the most popular times, ”says Kat.
Follow a plan
Going with a plan also helps people feel more secure.
Kat says a backup plan is also a good idea.
‘It’s helpful to follow a plan as it means that instead of looking for free machines, if certain equipment is already in use, you’ll have multiple exercises to choose from. ‘
Go at your own pace
Everyone was a beginner at some point.
Kat says, remember that “training is a skill to be learned” so avoid comparing your journey to someone else who may have been training for years.
Do you have a story to share?
Contact us by email at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.
MORE: How to Get More At The Gym – And Reach Your Fitness Goals
MORE: Why You Should Try Rowing Next Time You Hit The Gym (Or Exercise At Home)
MORE: This is how quickly your fitness level actually drops when you take a break from the gym